Looking for Tow Vehicle recommendations - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-24-2014, 11:46 PM   #1
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Scamp 16
New Hampshire
Posts: 165
Looking for Tow Vehicle recommendations

Trailer is a 16' Scamp fully loaded. Haven't weighed it but my best guess is 2,500-2,700 total weight. With most of our gear in the front bathroom, tongue weight is around 250lbs. We tow at most 10-15 days out of the year so the vehicle will primarily be a daily driver.

Requirements:
Towing capacity of 2,700 lbs or better
Mileage less than 30,000 (with a little factory warranty left over)
Price less than $30,000 (ideally around $25,000)
Room for a full size greyhound (wagons and suvs primarily since he won't sit on a backseat)
Desired features: Heated seats, leather, auto climate, keyless entry, bluetooth, fun to drive.
Nice to have: backup camera, nav
Non starters: Anything from GM or Jeep. Sorry but the build quality is simply not up to my standards.

What I've looked into thus far...

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
We've had Jeep/Dodge products in the past but I drove one just to be sure. I like the fact it comes in stick shift, but the road noise is unbearable and interior build quality is marginal at best. Gas mileage is horrible. Reliability will become an issue as the vehicle ages.

Nissan XTerra.
Quieter than the Wrangler but still very "truck" like. Also comes in stick which is a bonus. Obviously caters toward outdoorsy crowd but interior is plain and out dated. Gas mileage is horrible. Had mixed reviews about reliability. After driving a new one I just didn't have that "I have to take this home" feeling.

Toyota FJ.
Non-start was the suicide doors. I'm just not interested. Didn't test drive.

Ford Escape.
Haven't driven it yet but my wife has a Focus. Not a fan of all the buttons and do-dads that come with MyFordTouch or whatever they call it. My wife constantly has issues pairing her phone and getting her iPod to work. But still, the specs look good if I can find a used one with the tow package.

Mazda CX-5 GT
I mention this because I was hoping it would be an alternative to the Escape. However it won't work for my camper because the towing capacity is only 2,000lbs. I did test drive it though. It is fun and sporty but a little small on the inside.

Mazda CX-9 Touring
Feels big, almost too big for just my wife and I. However I really like the interior and the look is somewhat timeless. It's not a show stopper but it won't be outdated in 5 years. I'm already familiar with Mazda's instrument layout since I'm currently driving one. I'd say its my top pick right now.

Volvo XC60
This is a bit out of my price range but I sat in one at the auto show and really liked the seats. Haven't had a chance to drive one but I think I'll have to sacrifice my mileage requirement to get one...otherwise the price will be well over $30k.

Haven't done much research into Subaru, Honda, and Toyota but I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:56 PM   #2
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Name: Gage
Trailer: 13' Burro
California
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Think about a Honda Pilot. They even ride nice. But what ever you buy, deal over the internet. That way you don't have to put up with all the sales B.S. and you'll get your best deal.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:23 AM   #3
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Name: John
Trailer: 16' Casita
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I towed my16' Scamp SD through the Rockies several times and all over the West Coast.
On my last trip to Yellowstone I averaged 22mpg over 3800 miles with full water tanks and dual propane tanks.
Fully loaded for a trip the trailer weighed 2513 the last time I weighed it.
I have an 07 Toyota Tacoma 4cyl with auto tran.
John
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:34 AM   #4
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Name: Sean
Trailer: 1984 Uhaul CT 13
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Don't have experience with a 16foot. Mine is 13. But I've towed with my 2001 mazda tribute (escape) for years, boat, camper, utility trailer. V6 version. It tows fine. Now towing with 2007 gmc acadia. It tows great and has more room for luggage and kids and dogs.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:40 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1980 13 ft. burro
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I had the misfortune once of having a Jeep Wrangler for a rental and also thought it was an astonishingly crappy car. Could they not have tried a *little* harder?

There's the Subaru Tribeca which has a 3500 lb capacity with transmission cooler, but only comes in auto. And the fuel efficiency is not so hot. MPGs below 21 is probably going to be a given with that tow capacity, which really is a bummer.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:14 AM   #6
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Name: Allan
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Oregon
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we have a 2012 Toyota rav4 6 cylinder with tow package.
Used it for our Hunter 1
hardly knew it was back there with 18-20 mpg consistantly
Now have a Lil Snoozy on order
Rav4 - 6 cyl. w/ tow package will do 3500 lbs and we love this vehicle..........
Without the trailer it gets 22 mpg in town, 30 mpg hwy
(only dislike is rear door swings left to right instead of up)
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:29 AM   #7
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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It's a shame that you ruled out the Toyota FJ. I have driven and towed a 4000 lb sticky several 100 miles with one and it is a great TV. Those funny doors are really a plus with your dog and for getting stuff in and out of the back seat. When you want to open the back doors you don't have to climb around the door to open it, just step out and open it up.

I was considering buying one myself and read every evaluation I could find and about the only negative comments about the doors I could find was "it takes a few minutes to get used to how they open. Otherwise every one like them.

But, a new one was well beyond my budget and I think that a used one, with your specs, will be well beyond yours, so this whole post might be moot.

Forgot to add.... You had better get an actual coach and tongue weight. Loading everything forward in a front bath Scamp will quickly add a lot of tongue weight
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:46 AM   #8
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Chris I feel for you having had to go through the same process this fall.

If I was dead set on an SUV then I would take the Toyota Highlander for a spin. May be at the high end of your price limit but you may be able to find a gentle used one. If you go the used road it may be that anything of more than a year or two old doesn't have the built in back up camera. That shouldn't be a show stopper though as they are real easy to add after the fact. I had to add one myself to the used 2.5 year old truck I purchased - paid less than a $125 for it and its easy to install.
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:29 AM   #9
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Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Delaware
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Don't forget the Toy 4runner. Towing cap is down from 5000 to 4700lb. on the v6 after the 2010 model change. It's still a good reliable rig despite sharing short wheelbase with the FJ. There are still some 4.7Litre V8 runners out there which are reasonable mileage in the '08 edition and usually priced sub-20K$. An '09 might fill the bill also, but hard to find as not many were sold due to the pooferation of the banking/housing bubble. The Sequoia has the current Tundra 5.7litre mill but it's so darn heavy cf. to the Tundra that I don't see a lot of advantage towing over the the pre-2008 model with the 4.7.

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Old 02-25-2014, 02:11 PM   #10
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Scamp 16
New Hampshire
Posts: 165
Thanks for all the recommendations. I'll dig into them tonight when I have a little more free time.

I know several people that love their FJs but in parking lots the double doors can become a hassle. There's the blind spots too, and also the premium price of paying for a trail-rated vehicle I most likely won't be taking on the trail. Sure we'll be going in and out of campsites but nothing harsh enough to require something like that. The Xterra sort of fits the same bill. Great vehicle for outdoorsy people, not so great for a luxury daily driver.

I'll look into the Honda Pilot and CRV. I forgot how big the CRV has gotten over the years. I remember them being tiny.

As for the Toyotas, I like the Tacoma but the dog won't settle down in that back seat area. I looked into the Frontier as well and it was the same issue. Consider our greyhound "special needs". He has trouble sitting and prefers to stand facing forward. If he can't do that he wobbles and falls over like a Star Wars AT Walker every time you touch the gas or brake pedal.

I'll look into the RAV4, Highlander, and 4Runner and see if they fit in my price/mileage range.

The wife says the Subaru Tribeca is ugly so that's a no go. (WAF - wife aesthetic factor - takes precedence over all)
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:27 PM   #11
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
The wife says the Subaru Tribeca is ugly so that's a no go. (WAF - wife aesthetic factor - takes precedence over all)
A lot of people agree with your wife. You'd think Subaru would have learned something from the Edsel.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:38 PM   #12
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
The wife says the Subaru Tribeca is ugly so that's a no go. (WAF - wife aesthetic factor - takes precedence over all)
LOL I tend to agree with her! which is why I had the Outback.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:52 PM   #13
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Scamp 16
New Hampshire
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Hey, its not what you do with the grill, its how you do it. You may sight the Edsel as a poor choice but I could site the Alpha Romeo to prove you wrong. Of course Alpha didn't try to turn that design into a bloated SUV.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:57 PM   #14
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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Got to admit, the Alpha is sweet.
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